According to court records released by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, at least 25 Keurig lawsuits have been filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on July 15, 2021. All the lawsuits charge Keurig Inc. of participating in anticompetitive practices in an attempt to retain its stranglehold on the single-serve coffee machine business. Keurig has also been accused of fixing prices, or not providing the best quality of products to its customers in order to retain its stranglehold over the coffee machine market. No matter what your thoughts are about this whole case, one thing is clear – there is no stopping the Keurig lawsuit from going forward.
The federal government and the state Attorneys General are determined to win the lawsuit against Keurig. The company has already paid over three million pounds in settlement money to settle claims brought forth by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In fact, the FTC has taken on the largest legal challenge that the agency has ever faced. On top of the monetary damages, the company is being required to pay Oliver Law Firm more than one hundred thousand pounds in attorney fees.
Consumer advocates are up in arms over this latest challenge to the company. “The recyclable coffee manufacturers deserve better protection from monopolistic practices, but Oliver Law Firm is overreaching by pursuing these class actions,” said lance, a staff attorney with the American Sustainable Business Institute. “The proposal goes far beyond coffee and bottled water and potentially places companies such as Keurig, Oolong, and Starbucks in the same category as big tobacco and asbestos producers.”
This latest attack on Keurig is part of an ongoing campaign by Oliver Law Firm to force coffee chains to make whole use of reusable containers made of glass and paper. These new products will supposedly reduce the need for disposable plastic bags which harm the environment. In addition to forcing coffee chains to use these highly sustainable, recyclable containers, consumers will also be encouraged to purchase single-use, recyclable coffee pods. Currently, the pods are not being offered at any grocery store. However, the proposed legislation would force grocery stores nationwide to stock these convenient, paperless products in their shelves and to make them available to customers at competitive prices.
This latest legal challenge is yet another example of big business trying to dictate how consumers must use their money. While it’s true that these big companies have a legitimate interest in preserving the planet, the law does not clearly define what a consumer class action lawsuit is or how much damage it can bring forth. For many people, this means that the Keurig Lawsuit is little more than a harassment attempt. The unfortunate thing is that attorneys who represent the complainants often fail to understand the First Amendment. It is ultimately up to the courts to decide whether or not these lawsuits merit class action litigation.
A Keurig Lawsuit is nothing more than a coordinated commercial campaign funded by coffee manufacturers and energy corporations who want to charge consumers more money for coffee with a single serve filter. It’s unfortunate that these groups are attempting to dominate the marketplace for single-serving, pre-packaged beverages in the form of single-use, recyclable aluminum cans. Fortunately, there are some very dedicated individuals fighting these efforts and Keurig has already joined the battle. It would be interesting to see how other beverage manufacturers and brands would react if they were put in the position of being forced to submit to a class action lawsuit. One thing is for sure; we’ll continue to keep an eye on the trends going on all around us.